Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Embracing the Moment

I’m focusing on mindfulness and contentment today. In more ways than one. Mindfulness is a concept that psychology stole from Buddhism, simplified it, and called it its own. Basically, according to 3rd-wave psychologists, Mindfulness is the art of being in the moment such that you truly exist in the now without judging your physical or emotional experiences in this moment. You are supposed to envision your mind like a Teflon pan and whatever hits you, just slides right off, without judgment or pain. For example, ”Oh shit, I forgot to call so-and-so back to make that appointment!” The thought comes, enters your mind, and slides away, without a scratch on your emotional state. Mindfulness is also about appreciation. Appreciating the sip of caramel-vanila tea on my tongue, appreciating the sunlight on the ugly skyscraper out of my office window, or simple basic things like enjoying sitting with bare feet under my desk.

So basically, find your peace and accept it. Non-judgementally.

I am NOT very good at Mindfulness. I am always rushing, rushing for the next experience. Or second guessing the one I am currently having. Or worrying about what is going to happen in the future. Or, or, or….

I feel guilty about my moments of mindfulness. Like, taking the time to write this blog while I should be working. Guilt. But then my rational mind argues that I have been working straight through since 8:30 this morning and will continue until 8:00 tonight, with only a five minute break for my lunch. Um, damnit…I deserve a few minutes to drink my tea and contemplate mindfulness.

Today I was worrying about the fact that getting pregnant will stop me from doing one of my favorite things in the world (besides drinking wine!!) – traveling. My husband is always quick to remind me that, if I love it that much, it doesn’t mean we need to stop, it will just slow down. I know he’s right…but I get this grasping fear that I am missing out on something. Oh no! I STILL haven’t made it to Italy (my #1 location) or The Galapagos or Ireland or….. But damnit, that is not being mindful. It is the opposite of mindfulness (and Buddhism) to overload yourself with wants and desires, rather than appreciating what is in front of you. And so, I remind myself that eating pasta in Italy must be amazing, but so is holding your baby in your arms. There is mindfulness on a day-to-day basis. Such as, don’t worry about how much I have to do tomorrow, just focus on getting through the next four hours. OR, better yet, focus on right now, my fingers typing these words. And then there is mindfulness on another level. Accept where I am in my life. Accept it so I can happily embrace it.

That is not the same thing as ignoring your wants and desires, by the way. If I ignored the fact that impending motherhood meant cutting back on my dreams of traveling, then I would have other feelings pop up…Resentment? Anxiety? Frustration? So rather, I look at what I am letting go and, nonjudgmentally, let it slide away. You can’t hold two things in one hand. So, right now, I’m focused on this new dream 

And….back to the right now…I am trying to NOT focus on the next week of hell at work before vacation and the many late nights of working at home AND the fact that I have to get through this TWW to see how close I am to that new dream…I am going to just…BE.

Oh, and I am going to enjoy these beautiful flowers that my husband sent me because he feels bad for how hard I’m working. Damn, it’s easy to mediate on such a sweet sentiment, isn’t it?

Funny thing. The second I completed this post, my office phone rang. It was the secretary letting me know my next appointment is here. Ok, enough Buddhism, BACK TO WORK!


  1. Hey, thanks for your comment on my blog, I will be reading you.
    I am also super anxious, always always thinking, so this whole waiting game while trying to conceive (oh how I hate acronyms)is crazy-making.
    Anyhow, I wanted to say that I am crazy about travel, it must be one of our top goals as a couple and in life, and when the baby comes (hopefully soon) we'll just find a way to bring him/her along, I don't think you have to give that up. I can relate to your feelings though... career wise it would be a good decision to pursue a master, for which I would have to enroll by May, and start by September. Except, we are doing everything and hoping for this baby to come anytime and if that happens, well... I won't be able to study full time. I think I could study while pregnant (though I am not even sure how I will feel then), but definitely not when the baby is here... after hoping for so long when it comes to us I want to be there at least during the first year. So I am contemplating ways in which I could work for home. See, dilemmas, dilemmas, thinking about what if this, and what if that, instead of being in the moment.
    Hugs to you. I hope all the best for you and that your dreams will be fulfilled soon.

  2. Oh wow, reading your comment could be looking into my own brain. You think as hard as I do! But yes, I feel the same way. I think about the traveling, I think about my hobbies (wine tasting and horseback riding are not conducive to having a baby), and I think about my career and what this will do to having a career. Thinking, thinking, thinking. But really, isn't it just pointless to think so damn much about something we really cannot predict or control? I think we just need to wait and see.



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